Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Not only do we celebrate today the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, but we also mark the 54th World Day of Peace. It’s an important day to look back on ways in which we, individually and collectively, have both encouraged and discouraged peace through our words, actions and choices over the previous year, and we pray for a special outpouring of divine peace on broken hearts and a broken world in the new year.
Every year, the Holy Father prepares a special message to honor this day and to highlight some important theme in our global pursuit of peace. This year he entitled it “A Culture of Care as a Path to Peace“. It’s not very long, and I encourage you to read it by clicking here.
Here’s the conclusion, which I find particularly inspiring:
“The culture of care thus calls for a common, supportive and inclusive commitment to protecting and promoting the dignity and good of all, a willingness to show care and compassion, to work for reconciliation and healing, and to advance mutual respect and acceptance. As such, it represents a privileged path to peace. ‘In many parts of the world, there is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds. There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter’. (Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti, 3 October 2020, #225)
At a time like this, when the barque of humanity, tossed by the storm of the current crisis, struggles to advance towards a calmer and more serene horizon, the “rudder” of human dignity and the “compass” of fundamental social principles can enable us together to steer a sure course. As Christians, we should always look to Our Lady, Star of the Sea and Mother of Hope. May we work together to advance towards a new horizon of love and peace, of fraternity and solidarity, of mutual support and acceptance. May we never yield to the temptation to disregard others, especially those in greatest need, and to look the other way; (Fratelli Tutti, #65) instead, may we strive daily, in concrete and practical ways, “to form a community composed of brothers and sisters who accept and care for one another”. (Fratelli Tutti, #96)
Let’s pray in a special way, that in all we say and do, we might be zealous advocates of God’s amazing peace.
God bless you! Happy New Year!